Thursday, January 17, 2013

why i'm quitting instagram.

It's almost here.  It's almost January 19th.

On January 19th Instagram's Terms of Service change.  Nearly each time I bring this up I get a response where people assume I'm stupid and missed the news - "They reverted back to the old TOS.. nothing is changing."


They did revert back on many parts that people just couldn't wrap their minds around but they're still changing.  The best reference I can find and that I use the most is a little lawsuit over in California.  The lawsuit alleges many things but the most significant to me are:

- The new TOS bar you from filing a class action lawsuit.  Um, why?
- The new TOS, for some strange reason, as removed the specific language that states private photos will always remain private.  Again, why?
- And most significantly, the only way to "opt out" of these changes is to no longer use Instagram and to delete your account.  But guess what?  On deleting your account you waive your rights to all previously uploaded photos.  WHY?

Did you know that the only way to delete your Instagram photos is to delete each one, one by one by one by one?  I have over 3,000 Instagram photos.  You would think that Facebook would have the resources to add this feature to their app, no?  

Did you know that as you delete your photos, one by one, Instagram suddenly claims that you have an internet connection issue and you can no longer delete photos?  This happens to me every 20 photos.  Really Instagram?  I think you're better than that.  I won't go so far as to say as you're doing that on purpose because then I may sound like a conspiracy theorist.  But maybe I am?

So, these things bug me.  Facebook also bugs me.  I wish I didn't need one for business but it has proven to be useful - everyone wants to know if you have a Facebook and everyone connects there.. they don't check your actual website or blog, unfortunately.  But I won't get into that.

Facebook/Instagram is not here for you.  Really they could care less about you.  They want to make a profit and they want to use your information to do so.  They want you to eat it all up and not think.  I really would prefer not to do that.  I don't want to take part it in that.  So I'm riding myself of Instagram and I'm happy to not have a person Facebook account.

I enjoyed Instagram when I first had an iPhone.  It was fun and new.  I met a lot of great people.  But soon it became more and more popular and it became so hard to manage my followers and those I followed.  It almost became a chore.  I would catch myself wanting to photograph things specifically for Instagram and my followers.  That's no way to live.  I love you all, internet friends, but I want my brain to be engaged in my real life.

I don't need to have a big internet mom following to feel useful or validated or cool or like I'm a good mom or a good person.  If anything, managing all of that takes away from being useful and cool and a good mom.  I have enough to manage with having a business, with multiple avenues now, a family, a house, etc.  This will help me simplify and I think we all need to do that.  Live more in the now - in your real world - than in the whimsical quaint happy raw, whatever it is, picture you're creating of your life on the internet.  

As Instagram became more and more popular the Popular page became more and more disgusting.  Soon people began flagging the breastfeeding photos that my friends would post.  Kids and adults began stealing the photos of others and even cheating people out of money and goods.  Very bad people were using it for very bad reasons.  People opened Instagram shops and post too many photos in a row of the various things they are selling.  Blogs and shops began using Instagram to promote themselves - now there are copied images all over the place for the purpose of entering contests.  This is not what I came to Instagram for.  People are taking screen shots of funny jokes, of their television, of uninteresting things.  People are arguing and judging and lying and cheating.  

I don't mean to sound judgy.  But it is not twitter.  It is not an Etsy shop.  But people use it as such - basically using it as a tumblr.  That's not what I came for.

I came for tasteful and creative photographs from people's everyday lives - I came to share that myself.  I got caught up in the wave of mommy IGers. 

But I'm done.. I don't want to buy into all of that.  I want to tap that little X and hope to make a statement to Facebook.

They didn't just make a mistake with their attempt at their TOS change that angered everyone.  They have lawyers.  They have smart people on staff.  They knew exactly what they were doing.  I'm not just going to let them say "oops" and continue.  They screwed up and they're just going to continue using their users.

I've moved over to Flickr.  Flickr is all about photos.  And that's why I was all about Instagram.

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